Depression of Hospitalized Seniors and Informal Support: The Moderating Role of Attachment Anxiety

K Shulyaev, N Gur-Yaish, E Gil, A Zisberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Most of older adults are emotionally supported by close family members, friends or paid caregivers while hospitalization. The emotional support might act as a protective factor against adverse mental health consequences of hospitalization, like depression. However, individual differences might interfere with the ability to gain this kind of support. In the current study we explored the way in which attachment predispositions shape the relationships between depressive symptoms and emotional support provided in the hospital. Method: A short version of the attachment orientation (ECR-R) and level of depression (HADS) questionnaires were completed by 401 (mean age 75.4; sd – 7.1) hospitalized older adults at admission. The amount of received informal emotional support collected during 3- consecutive hospitalization days. Results: Statistical analyses indicated a significant interaction affect between level of depression and attachment anxiety (ΔR2=.01, F(1, 361)=5.92, p=.015). Whereas older adults with high level of attachment anxiety received high amount of psychological support from their informal caregivers when their level of depression was low, the opposite was obtained for older adults high in attachment anxiety with high level of depression (p=.012). For older adults with low attachment anxiety level there were no relationships between level of depression and amount of support received (p=.58). These interactions were significant after controlling for all relevant covariates. Conclusion: The study results emphasize the importance of attachment orientation in health related context: In this case how attachment anxiety moderates the associations between patient distress levels (depression) and the amount of support available for them from informal caregivers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-481
Number of pages1
JournalInnovation in Aging
Issue numbersuppl1
StatePublished - 2018
Event21st International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) World Congress - Moscone West San Francisco, San Francisco, United States
Duration: 23 Jul 201727 Jul 2017


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